NIA to work with DPWH to fast-track irrigation, flood control projects

THE National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said it will work with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to fast-track flood mitigation and irrigation projects, as directed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

“This is a convergence effort. Of course, if NIA does this alone, we will not be able to handle it. The DPWH will help us. Their focus would be on flood control projects,” NIA Acting Administrator Eduardo Eddie G. Guillen said at a Palace briefing, adding that NIA would focus on climate change adaptation projects as they relate to water management.

He said the flood-control initiative will call for more dams to be built to improve water management; in turn the dams will be tapped for irrigation.

He said that the NIA can irrigate around 2 million hectares of agricultural land but sought aid in maintaining service to 1.2 million hectares, citing the need to upgrade irrigation facilities.

He said he will seek to find a way to work with limited funds while leveraging collaboration with the DPWH, which is well-funded.

Mr. Guillen estimated that a P200-billion program of dam building has the potential to “change the agricultural landscape.” — Sheldeen Joy Talavera